Warning: Lisa Desrochers' debut novel Personal Demons is highly addictive.
Here's a little about the book.
Frannie Cavanaugh has always been a bit of a loner. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance, even her closest friends. That is, until Luc Cain enrolls in her school. He's hot, sarcastic, and dangerous—-and Frannie can't seem to stay away.
What she doesn't know is that Luc is on a mission. Because Frannie isn't exactly ordinary. She possesses a skill so unique that the king of Hell himself has taken notice, and he's sent Luc to claim Frannie's soul. It should be easy: All he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come.
Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and he's just started making progress when the angel Gabriel shows up. Gabe will do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for, and his angelic charm might just be enough to keep Frannie on the right path.
It isn't long before Luc and Gabe find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie's soul. But if Luc fails to win her over, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.
Personal Demons is rocking 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads and it's well deserved.
Desrochers has all the ingredients in this book for a hit. There are likable though flawed characters, a love triangle, and nearly constant rising action as Luc and Gabe fight for Frannie's attention--and her soul. Continued threats from the Underworld will have you anxious to find out what happens next. Though I didn't miss my metro stop reading this book I certainly stayed up well beyond my bedtime several nights in a row so I could finish it and find out for certain just what happens of our heroine.
There were a few critiques I had namely that Frannie is quite literally out of breath for the first half of the novel; every class she attends she's escorted by either Luc or Gabe, hand on the small of her back guiding her there; and the heaven/hell colloquial sayings sometimes felt overdone (e.g. "for the sin of Satan). That said, these are easily forgivable when looking at the book as a whole. Though Frannie is wildly enamored with her new gorgeous classmates and revels in their attention, she's no classic flirt or push over. Far from it in fact. She has 8 years of judo under her belt, is smart enough to get a full academic scholarship to UCLA, and is very cognizant of her actions towards others while also helping improve their lot in life (e.g. helping her friend Taylor's father find a job). In short, she's much more put together than your average senior in high school. Ironically, for her family, she's a bit of a bad-ass given her expulsion from Catholic school but the first person narrative reveals that much of this is due not to behavioral problems but an inquisitive mind.
This is, in fact, an issue I must congratulate Desrochers. She tackled crisis of faith head-on and in a teen novel no less, certainly not an easy feat. Her treatment felt real and relatable and I was pleasantly surprised just how deep this theme ran. It makes sense, of course, given that heaven and hell are battling for Frannie's soul but Desrochers didn't take the easy way out and our protagonist really struggles with this. Is there a God? Why do unfair things seem to happen? How could someone I love die young? These are just some of the many questions Frannie struggles with and I hope that this book not only serves as a delicious addictive read but goes beyond that especially for young readers--that it encourages them to open up and be honest about where they're at with their struggles, what questions they have, their place in the world, and yeah, even God.
Desrochers really created authentic voices for the characters and an accurate portrayal of teens in this book. I loved that it offers alternating perspectives between Frannie and Luc though I would have enjoyed hearing what Gabe was thinking. Given that Gabe is not as central a character, however, this would have been difficult to achieve while still creating a seamless plot line. At minimum I would have liked to have heard more about what Gabe was doing exactly while Frannie and Luc were together since Gabe's mission is to keep Frannie safe and every second with Luc is a second her soul is in jeopardy.
But perhaps these questions will soon be answered. Personal Demons is gaining wild success having been picked up in 10 countries in addition to the U.S. and is the first installment of a three part trilogy. Original Sin, the second novel in the series, will be out July 2011 and Hellbent, the third novel, will be out May 2012. To learn more about Desrochers check out her Website. She's also posted an interview she did on Sacramento & Co. along with her book tour dates.
The book is sold at all major book distributors...OR you can win a copy right here. That's right. I'm hosting another book giveaway. Here are the rules:
1. Be a follower of the blog
2. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line "Personal Demons" to enter.
3. Contest runs until Friday, November 26 at 5 pm EST. The winner will be notified via email and posted here on the blog on Monday, November 29.
4. Extra entries for each time you blog, tweet, Facebook about the contest and two extra entries for every friend you refer.
Good luck and game on!